Eleventh Doctor: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

Dinosaurs_on_a_SpaceshipWriter: Chris Chibnall

Director: Saul Metzstein

Producer: Marcus Wilson

Companions: Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill)

Summary: The Doctor, Amy, Rory, Cleopatra, Rory’s dad, and a game hunter are, well, the title pretty much tells you what to expect.

Review: The reason I’m wary about Chris Chibnall taking over Doctor Who is that unlike Moffatt, he doesn’t have an excellent track record. Yes, I liked stories like “42” and “The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood”, but he also did this story. And to be honest, it’s almost too crazy, even for Doctor Who. The title made me think of the movie Snakes on a Plane, because just like that movie, it’s exactly what it says on the tin. You’ve got dinosaurs on a spaceship. Not much else to say. And yet it works. While they aren’t getting divorced anymore, Amy and Rory still have the rocky relationship from earlier, but at least it’s not bogging the story down this time. The dinosaurs are fun. Rory’s dad does feel like extra baggage, as does Cleopatra. I’ve often felt that Doctor Who is at its best when there are no more than two companions with the Doctor. Any more than that, and there’re too many characters for the writers to work with. I hope we don’t see the TARDIS get this crowded again for a while. Other than that, it’s not a bad story. It’s just a bit much.

Overall Review: 7/10

Continuity: Rory is shocked that his phone works in space, similar to the superphone the 9th and 10th Doctors gave their companions. This isn’t the first time the Doctor has taken a companion’s parent by accident, as it’s happened with Jackie Tyler a lot. The Fifth Doctor has also travelled with Egyptian royalty, in this case the Pharoah Erimem in Big Finish audio stories starting with The Eye of the Scorpion. The Third Doctor was the first to have dinosaurs in a story, in “Invasion of the Dinosaurs”. Both the First and Fourth Doctors have encountered space arks, in “The Ark” and “The Ark in Space”. The Doctor is once again enthusiastic that he gets to say “Take me to your leader”, which was also something his previous regeneration wanted to say once (“Voyage of the Damned”). This story reveals that the Doctor has erased himself from history, setting up an element in “The Angels Take Manhattan.” The Fifth Doctor witnessed the destruction of the dinosaurs in “Earthshock”.

 

 

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